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Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Type 1 Diabetes

July 24, 2009

Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Type 1 Diabetes

To Whom It May Concern:

Regardless of one’s political affiliation, the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor is certainly noteworthy in several ways. Not only can she serve as a role model for Hispanics and women, but she can also serve as a role model to the millions of Americans living with diabetes. Judge Sotomayor was diagnosed with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes at the age of eight years old, and she has lived her life successfully rising above the stigma that can accompany the disease. The achievements of Judge Sotomayor, along with countless others in prominent positions, are both inspiring and encouraging to many people as they live with type 1 diabetes.

As a result of clinical advances and research progress, there have been significant improvements in the treatment of type 1 diabetes over the last two decades that have allowed many persons affected by the disease to live longer, healthier lives. Some of these role models demonstrate to children, especially, that having diabetes certainly does not keep someone from achieving his or her goals. People with diabetes have become famous athletes, scientists, entertainers, musicians, businessmen, politicians, a Supreme Court Justice nominee, and many other outstanding leaders in various fields of endeavor.

Many Americans are still unaware that there are two different types of diabetes, and it is important for the public to be better educated as almost every family has a member who is diagnosed with this disease.

Juvenile diabetes, commonly known as type 1 diabetes, greatly differs from its counterpart — type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic illness and, upon diagnosis, type 1 diabetics must closely monitor their blood sugar daily and are dependent on insulin for the rest of their lives.

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that predominately affects adults. Type 2 diabetics produce insulin; however, the body may not produce enough insulin or is not able to use what is produced effectively. Treatments include diet control, exercise, self-monitoring of blood glucose, and, in some cases, oral drugs or insulin.

Judge Sotomayor’s nomination does, indeed, serve as an inspiration to many Americans including the three million people in the United States who have type 1 diabetes — particularly children, who represent more than half of all new cases of type 1 diabetes diagnosed each year.


W. Allen Bridgers

Recruitment Leader

Board of Directors of the Palmetto Chapter of The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

2428 Blossom Street

Columbia, SC 29205

T (803)661-7285

F (803)799-8100



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